Last Sunday saw one of this year’s Xfactor most talented booted out of the competition. So many have branded it fixed and so many other theories are being belted around the decision by judges to axe the only ethnic minority contestant.
My 9 year old daughter was devastated, she cried inconsolably. Myself I was again hit with the reality of what it is. A competition which could sway to any side for whatever reason. Suck it up. I advised myself. But not for a kid, she’ not going to have anyone else that looks like her in the only family weekend program. I had to go back on youtube to play her Alexander Burke’s winning at Xfactor. It worked, she remembered someone like her has won before.
That brings me to the lessons from Gifty Louise’s shocking exit last weekend. For us Black folks, the easiest thing to do is to go on social media to rant, once again our disappointment trends for the night, bloggers get fierce and boldly create headlines that are more like a click bate. Their influencer position as people who speak out for Black people moves the ranks. They become more relevant. Then what? A week or so after, that is all over until next incident we perceive as unfair or racist towards us. The cycle occurs again and again and again.
Unfortunately, no one has actually sat back to truly look at it from what it is, call it as it should be and then seek for other ways to make ‘us’ more competitive. Until we Black folk begin to see the world as what it is, take responsibility rather than taking the easy way around issues, blaming and pointing at the other person, we are continually going to fail our younger generation. Thus, repeating the cycle year after year, incident after incident. We are going to create our own monsters of angry kids who look at the world as peculiarly against them. And surprisingly in return they world come unto them as they see it. Remember, you attract what you think and believe. That’s not to say or deny there’s racism. But our ability to differentiate racism from rule of the game is what will set us free.
“Changing the story of Black people is one of paradigm shift first. Until we change how we see things, we won’t be able to see a different outcome. Change how you see things and what you see changes” – Faustina Anyanwu @fauntee
Now let me take you on this lesson without wasting any more time. The truth is that Xfactor just like so many other things, is a business which is measured by the numbers, the viewership and monetary value is important. You will never rule out that we’re operating in a capitalist world, at least until a new system comes into place, monetary value is the yardstick for most ventures if not all. Realising this is the key to tackling what is important to us as individuals or as a group. Failing to understand this is the singular reason in this day and age, Blacks have remained below the economic ladder and seem to be playing the victim role all the time.
In this instance, Gifty is a hugely, hugely talented beautiful young lady. She gave it her all and by far stood out among the rest. But then, beauty and talent isn’t enough to pay for the producer’s bills. If no one is interested in paying for her talent then it’s not a viable venture for the businessman who has bills to pay to keep the show running. Now, you ask me what do I mean? In the first place, Gifty was one of the 2 with the lowest vote. Given what was at stake, I ask you, how many of you Black folks tuned in to watch her performance? How many of you called in to vote for her? How many of you have been tweeting and hash tagging your sister’s name and cheering her on? How many of us? If you haven’t been passionately doing any of the above all those past weeks, you do not have any moral right to blame Sharon, Simon or even Nicole for sending her home.
You may argue, why should Honey G still be on? But, you forget that she’s one of the most popular contestants. She has been able to create a niche of fans who adore her regardless of what you think. She has marketed herself to that audience and they’re are actively supporting and voting for her. That is what it takes to keep your favourite contestant in for as long as possible. So you and I will have to suck it in.
It doesn’t only apply and end with Xfactor. This is only a reflection of the general attitude within the community where folks has to be told to buy from their own. Who lets people to be all over campaigning for them to remember to spend on businesses within their own community? We are all quick to cry racism yet very reluctant to do the needful which is to empower ourselves first. Whether it’s uplifting each other socially, mentally or economically, then we’ve not started yet. If Black people want to really make their existence more relevant, we really have to go back to the drawing board. Understand why we first became slaves, re-educate ourselves, take responsibility, move on and begin to see the world as what it is. It is called a race for a reason. Because it is a race; competition. If you doo not compete effectively on the race track, you will be knocked out and trampled upon.
What Gifty needs now is not how many people blogged about how racist Xfactor is. What matters to her now is how can she take her talent to the next level. For her to move beyond the Xfactor result, she needs your practical support. How many of you are willing to pay to see her perform? How many are going to buy tickets or her album when it comes out. How many of us have downloaded any of her performances through the Xfactor series? Are you willing to get her to number one so she out sells the winner?
If you can’t be part of any of the above, racism or not, ‘fiXfactor’ or not. Then suck it up and keep quiet.